I like to imagine that somewhere in Cupertino, Phil Schiller is high-fiving Bob Mansfield right about now. The Society for Information Display (SID) on Tuesday announced that Apple has earned two Gold Awards: the Display of the Year for the iPhone 4’s Retina display, and the Display Application of the Year for the original iPad.
SID (unofficial tagline: “We monitor displays”) bills itself as “the leading global organization dedicated to the advancement of electronic display technology,” so you know this is the kind of group that knows how to party. The awards celebrate displays that “exhibit the greatest degree of technical innovation, commercial significance and likely social impact, among other factors.”
In recognizing the iPhone 4’s Retina display, SID specifically highlighted Apple's innovation in quadrupling the number of pixels on earlier iPhones—without changing the screen’s size itself. SID also praised Apple’s use of mobile in-plane switching (IPS) technology, which the group said “achieves a viewing angle superior to conventional mobile LCDs, providing an enhanced viewing experience for the end user in virtually any application.” Additionally, the group rattled off a series of other impressive achievements in the iPhone 4’s display, at least some of which I sort of understand:
[Its] customized LTPS TFT backplane with organic passivation and optimized pixel design; user-customizable, auto-adjustable brightness using ambient light sensing; advanced IPS compensation polarizer technology for high contrast (800:1) and color consistency regardless of viewing direction; 8-bit color depth; an ultra-thin, tiny-footprint driver IC; and patent-pending mechanical integration.
SID’s praise for the iPad display was similarly enthusiastic, referencing the larger device’s own IPS technology, along with its support for multi-touch and all the other things that make iPads magical. Then—in part to show that the folks at SID really know their stuff—the group throws around terms like “minimized gamma shift,” “amorphous silicon thin-film transistor (a-Si TFT) infrastructure,” and the like, and that's about when my head started hurting.
While I'm confident Apple is delighted to have earned such sterling praise from SID, I'd imagine the company is really eager to hear from the Coalition of Power Switches and its coveted Tactile Feel award.